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Posted at 2:39 PM ET, 06/ 7/2005

Not Just 'Hava Nagila'

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Is it possible that the hippest music venue in the Washington area this week won't be the 9:30 Club, Black Cat, IOTA or any other of the regulars but ... the D.C. Jewish Community Center? Don't laugh; the sixth annual Washington Jewish Music Festival kicks off tonight and boasts a lineup that goes far beyond "Fiddler."

Tonight's opening performance features legendary avant-garde composer John Zorn conducting the Masada String Trio. Each member of the trio -- violinist Mark Feldman, cellist Erik Friedlander and bassist Greg Coehn -- is world-renowned for his unique musical prowess, in terms of both technical mastery and improvisational ability. With Zorn at the helm, expect the unexpected. The performance begins at 7:30 in the JCC's Aaron and Cecile Goldman Theater.

On Saturday, "lit rock" phenomenon One Ring Zero take the stage. You may have read about them recently in The Washington Post but if not, here's the quick story: Hip New Yorkers who are buddies with equally hip literary folks such as Rick Moody and Dave Eggers make music that journalists across the country have agreed in unison to describe as "quirky." They use weird instruments, and their latest album features lyrics contributed by authors such as Margaret Atwood, Paul Auster and Jonathan Lethem. Their performance on Saturday will be preceded by a documentary on the making of that album, "As Smart As They Are." One of those contributors, author Jonathan Ames, will be on hand for the performance on Saturday.

And I would be remiss were I not to mention Wednesday's performance by klezmer/Jewish folk group The Fabrangen Fiddlers. After all, one of the group's founders, guitarist David Shneyer, presided over the service at my bar mitzvah back in the day. Lechayim!

--David

By  | June 7, 2005; 2:39 PM ET
Categories:  Music  
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